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Mike M
10-09-2007, 05:45 PM
First, can someone refer me to a distributor that has astronomical timers?

Second, when/if not using these, can someone explain to me how often I should plan to make service calls/timer adjustments per customer? (assuming I am using both timer and photocell).

Thanks,

Mike

JoeyD
10-09-2007, 06:01 PM
I would make my adjustemnts 2 times a year when the time changes in spring and in fall. Both good times to perform maintenance and hopefully add tot he system before summer and before holidays.

As for a distributor, I have to be carefull becuase I have a lot to refer. Talk to NyteTime on here......PM Doug, he can probably help you here for sure.
If you cant get a strait answer email me or PM me.

Joey D.

Chris J
10-09-2007, 09:35 PM
If you are using a PC/Timer combo, then you really should'nt have to adjust anything (theoretically). The PC will alway turn it on at dusk, and the timer will turn it off at a predetermined time. The only thing that will change after DST is the off time, and that will be either backed up by one hour or moved forward by one hour. Just split the difference and make the off time X:30, and that will make everything peachy.

Disclaimer: This is not how I do it, and it assumes that the PC will work properly from now on (which is not normally the case). I go back on several occasions throughout the year and make adjustments accordingly. A minimum of two visits would be expected, but I would anticipate 4-6 visits for the occasional burned out lamp, etc...

pete scalia
10-09-2007, 09:48 PM
Home depot. Intermatic < $20

David Gretzmier
10-09-2007, 11:51 PM
I try to use the photo-cell and timer combo in the FX models, although I am testing some other trans lately that have a photo cell and a digital hour meter of how many hours on after photo-cell kicks in.

Rather than worry about timers on time changes and power outages, I am leaning towards digital timers with battery backup and photo-cells. a visit of once per year to change out all bulbs, replace battery in timer, and move on.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-09-2007, 11:55 PM
Aube (Honeywell Systems) here in Canada makes a fantastic Astronomic digital timer. Part Number TI-035 I believe. I like it better then the Intermatic as it doesn't have the same failure rate and they use Ni-MH batteries for backup that don't have a memory effect and can withstand freezing conditions, unlike Ni-Cad.

Mike M
10-09-2007, 11:56 PM
A minimum of two visits would be expected, but I would anticipate 4-6 visits for the occasional burned out lamp, etc...

Chris, are these call backs or scheduled services or both? 4-6 service visits a year seems like a lot. I'd like to estimate the visits and offer a flat yearly service fee...?

Chris J
10-10-2007, 12:13 AM
In my service agreement, I promise two scheduled service visits semi annually. Here is where the fun part begins: I also promise to come back (for any reason) within that year of service regardless of the problem. This means premature failure of lamps, cut wire, faulty photocell, whatever... I am all about service after the sale and I promote that when selling the client. It does mean a bit higher installation price, but I don't have to nickel and dime them throughout the year to make my money back. It seems to work well for the higher-end clientele.

Mike M
10-10-2007, 08:36 AM
The Aube switch is only forty bucks, online retail. This would be a very nice switch to install indoors for the circuit the transformer is on.

I'm surprised at present that the only plug-in astronomical timer is the Intermattic.

Pro-Scapes
10-10-2007, 09:01 AM
FOLD carries the intermatic. Very resonable price tag. No need for photocell. Just be ready to flip the timer plug on some transformers. I dont know if doug has them but i think he is an intermatic dealer as well so should either have them or be able to get them.

using the astro timers saves having to go back to screw with DST or the possibility of a failed photocell. It also cures the issue if your mounting the trans under cover or in a shady/well lit area and having PC issues from that.

I like the hour meter idea... allows us to really gauge a bulbs performance.

JoeyD
10-10-2007, 09:25 AM
I HATE PHOTO CELLS! It is one more component to fail, and it will fail! Avoid using photo cells and go to astronomical w/ battery backup.

pete scalia
10-12-2007, 10:34 PM
The Aube switch is only forty bucks, online retail. This would be a very nice switch to install indoors for the circuit the transformer is on.

I'm surprised at present that the only plug-in astronomical timer is the Intermattic.

I like the looks of this unit. Would you mind elaborating on it and perhaps posting a link to purchase?

Mike M
10-13-2007, 07:22 AM
I googled and found it at smarthome.com; they specialize in home automation and have lots of cool stuff.

It's a big site, look under product manufactures and select Aube.

Mike M
10-13-2007, 07:27 AM
I HATE PHOTO CELLS! It is one more component to fail, and it will fail! Avoid using photo cells and go to astronomical w/ battery backup.

Is intermatic our only choice for outdoor use--plugged into the transformer?

Firefly Lighting
10-13-2007, 09:52 PM
Aube (Honeywell Systems) here in Canada makes a fantastic Astronomic digital timer. Part Number TI-035 I believe. I like it better then the Intermatic as it doesn't have the same failure rate and they use Ni-MH batteries for backup that don't have a memory effect and can withstand freezing conditions, unlike Ni-Cad.

James- I have to agree, Aube makes a great product and never once had a problem.

Firefly Lighting
10-13-2007, 09:57 PM
Mike- MDL makes a digital timer with battery backup that works well and will plug in to all transformers as far as I know.
Joey- this isnt directed at you but the photocells I hate the worst are the ones that the manufacturers are selling for 20-30 bucks a pop because they have the plastic plug on the end. Anyone know where to get the plug to make your own?

pete scalia
10-14-2007, 11:28 AM
Mike- MDL makes a digital timer with battery backup that works well and will plug in to all transformers as far as I know.
Joey- this isnt directed at you but the photocells I hate the worst are the ones that the manufacturers are selling for 20-30 bucks a pop because they have the plastic plug on the end. Anyone know where to get the plug to make your own?

Tim is that plug the one that looks like a nipple?

NightScenes
10-14-2007, 12:32 PM
Home depot. Intermatic < $20

Is this unit an astronomical clock? Is it a plug in that can be put into a transformer? I haven't found a plug in unit yet that is an astronomical timer.

pete scalia
10-14-2007, 12:39 PM
Is this unit an astronomical clock? Is it a plug in that can be put into a transformer? I haven't found a plug in unit yet that is an astronomical timer.

yes astro with a plug, I haven't used it but some here are saying it's no good. That would be surprising to me since intermatic has been in the timing business for a long time. guess I'l have to try it on my house and see.

Landscape Illuminating
10-14-2007, 01:32 PM
Here is the intermatic unit. I believe the main issue with this unit is having it withstand freezing temps. It is an LCD digital clock after all, and will any LCD work in the cold? This goes for ~$18 at home depot. Female receptacle is on the left side, so it does require flipping the receptacle in the transformer.

http://www.intermatic.com/?action=prod&pid=9231

-LI

pete scalia
10-14-2007, 01:38 PM
Here is the intermatic unit. I believe the main issue with this unit is having it withstand freezing temps. It is an LCD digital clock after all, and will any LCD work in the cold? This goes for ~$18 at home depot. Female receptacle is on the left side, so it does require flipping the receptacle in the transformer.

http://www.intermatic.com/?action=prod&pid=9231

-LI

When you say flipping a receptacle you must be referring to specific transformer brands- MDL?. I don't think it's possible to flip the receptacle in some brands such as vista. I don't know about unique or others. wouldn't flipping the outlet place the timer in an inverted position? Is flipping necessary cause the plug wire won't reach or is it because there is not enough overhead clearance?

Landscape Illuminating
10-14-2007, 01:45 PM
When you say flipping a receptacle you must be referring to specific transformer brands- MDL?. I don't think it's possible to flip the receptacle in some brands such as vista. I don't know about unique or others. wouldn't flipping the outlet place the timer in an inverted position? Is flipping necessary cause the plug wire won't reach or is it because there is not enough overhead clearance?

I recently installed this intermatic in a Kichler unit. Plugging the timer into the transformer puts the female receptacle on the timer right against the left side of the transformer. In this configuration, there is no way to plug into the timer. Flipping the transformer receptacle does orient the timer upside down, but allows you to plug into it. As you suggest, this may not be an issue with different transformers depending on the location of the receptacle.

-LI

pete scalia
10-14-2007, 01:55 PM
I recently installed this intermatic in a Kichler unit. Plugging the timer into the transformer puts the female receptacle on the timer right against the left side of the transformer. In this configuration, there is no way to plug into the timer. Flipping the transformer receptacle does orient the timer upside down, but allows you to plug into it. As you suggest, this may not be an issue with different transformers depending on the location of the receptacle.

-LI

Thanks, I can now see the quandry it puts one in. Appears that the interior configurations of transformers were not built to accommodate this timer. Installing the timer upside down is mickey mousing it. Why must we put up with this second rate approach.

Mike M
01-27-2008, 11:44 AM
Aube (Honeywell Systems) here in Canada makes a fantastic Astronomic digital timer. Part Number TI-035 I believe. I like it better then the Intermatic as it doesn't have the same failure rate and they use Ni-MH batteries for backup that don't have a memory effect and can withstand freezing conditions, unlike Ni-Cad.

10-09-07

gimme my points back

Mike M
01-27-2008, 11:45 AM
bumped for greg